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Letter to the Editor for Dec. 13, 2013


President doesn’t make laws; that’s Congress’ job

Just read the letter in today’s paper from Pete Sundin. Two things struck me. Mr Sundin, the president and his “administration” do not make laws. Congress makes laws.  The president either signs the congressional bills into law or vetoes them. That is his only power re: laws. 

The second thing is business owners are not being forced to provide birth control to their employees; they are being told to provide insurance or get into one of the state exchanges and thus choose the insurance they want. Which part of that insurance the employees choose is none of anyone’s business.  It’s really quite simple; please don’t make it any harder for yourself.

Iva Mace

Baker City


Letters to the Editor for Dec. 11, 2013


Early learning helps ease income inequality

We owe it to our community to expand early childhood education and offer it to all our children. Mack Augenfeld’s op-ed of Dec. 4 offered a persuasive argument, telling us of the great value of preschool and full-time kindergarten for those who can afford it. He said, “Early childhood is the most critical period to enhance an individual’s cognitive and social development.”

That very same day, President Barack Obama echoed those thoughts during a major speech on economic inequality in our country, including a road map for “making sure our economy works for every working American.”  (His speech is available at whitehouse.gov.)

Obama argued: “The gap in test scores between poor kids and wealthy kids is now nearly twice what it is between white kids and black kids ... We should make high-quality preschool available to every child in America. We know that kids in these programs grow up likelier to get more education, earn higher wages, form more stable families of their own. It starts a virtuous cycle, not a vicious one.  And we should invest in that. We should give all of our children that chance.”

 For background, President Obama described our loss of good-paying jobs over the past 35 years, due to automation, off-shoring, and union-busting, and told how this has led to a lack of opportunity that is bad for our economy and our democracy. And then, “As a trickle-down ideology became more prominent, taxes were slashed for the wealthiest, while investments in things that make us all richer, like schools and infrastructure, were allowed to wither.”  Many of us became much poorer.

 I can imagine how parents who are working long hours for low wages would have little time for enriching their children’s early learning. 

I say to all those wishing to strengthen our community that we should work together to reverse the rising inequality of wealth, to bolster family incomes, and to provide greatly enhanced early childhood education and early learning hubs.  These would be vital steps toward better educational outcomes and attracting, supporting, and retaining healthy, young families right here in Baker County.

Marshall McComb

Baker City

Where do leaders stand on the Second Amendment?

I was surprised to read Tim Kerns’ comments on the Second Amendment. You would think that after close association with Republicans over the years Kerns would be immune to Democratic talking points. It even seems like the Feinstein flu has even  spread over to the Unity country. Mr. Bennett seems to be infected.

Whenever the Second Amendment and hunting are mentioned in the same paragraph you know the speaker has been bitten by the banning bug. Recovery is a long process usually involving trying to find the  words “hunting,” “musket,” “National Guard,” “police,” “military type weapon,” “assault weapon,” “permit,” “England,” “Australia” or “gun deaths” in the Second Amendment. 

If treatment is successful the patient can come to understand that the Second Amendment is about a barrier to tyranny. The reason the “people” are to remain armed with weapons as good as the military and police is because the military and police have them. The Founders did not trust power. They didn’t want a standing army because the military has been a traditional gateway to tyranny. Therefore they had a civilian commander in chief. They had a Bill of Rights and written Constitution and a Supreme Court sworn to uphold the Constitution as are all public servants, even though a good percentage have forgotten that. 

The great paradox is this: There is no reason to be a “well-armed militia” until the government tells you that you can’t be “well armed.” When it does you know that you are on the road to tyranny and you need to start buying ammunition. It is important to know where our leaders stand. They need to lead, not put a finger into the wind and see “where the constituents stand” because many of those “constituents” lie dead in a thousand cemeteries around the world. The county commission opens meeting with a pledge of allegiance to the flag and Constitution. I think maybe they should reflect on those words.

There will be elections next year. Ask all candidates for a clear and concise statement as to their views on the Second Amendment. Elect the right people. Ballots are preferable to bullets.

Steve Culley

Richland

Mason Dam fish mitigation a form of blackmail

Mason Dam was never intended to have a fish ladder. One of the problems, if one was put in, is that it would only be used during the irrigation period as this was and still is the main purpose of the dam. The irrigation period lasts about five months. There are no anadromous fish runs in the Powder River.

To make Baker County hold to the ODFW proposal to waive fish passage at the dam for placing culverts at McCully Fork and Silver Creek, which are above Mason Dam is going to cost the taxpayers of Baker County thousands of dollars; even though the county proposed using their own equipment for these projects to try and save money.

If ODFW wants these fish passages upstream improved, they should get money through grants or fishing licenses and not make Baker County taxpayers pay for it. Since the fish passage through Mason Dam would be non-effective anyway. Also, after all this is done, based on how agencies work, the county would then go through the Environmental Impact Statement process, which involves every agency in the country to have a say.

The USFW, ODFW, EPA, DSL, DEQ, USFA, BLM, environmentalists and the tribes and who knows what others will put in their two cents’ worth; what’s going to happen is delay, delay and delay for just a simple little generator in Mason Dam that will only run for about five months a year. We do not need any mitigation proposals; it is just a form of blackmail, and only the taxpayers of Baker County will suffer by paying the bill.

We should be saying no to fish passage at Mason Dam as not necessary and no to the ODFW proposal to require mitigating enhancement of streams upstream of the dam instead. We are talking about a dam that does not allow fish passage now. There is no changing of the basic operation of the dam, just the addition of making power during the time of irrigation (a source of clean energy to be sold to the power grid).

Edwin Hardt

Guy Michael

Baker City

Tiedemann’s golf course plan the right approach for city

I read with interest the Baker City Herald editorial dated Dec. 4 and letters to the editor dated Dec. 6 referencing Quail Ridge Golf Course (QRGC). Clearly, there are some facts not known to the writers.

Mr. Tiedemann did not propose an entrepreneurial approach to managing QRGC.  His proposal is designed to provide a business plan, a disciplined budgetary process, a board of directors and financial transparency to the city.  This is entirely new regarding the golf course.

Tiedemann’s 2014 budget does not include the course being “subsidized” by the city with the exception of the annual “debt retirement” for construction of the back nine. The decision of debt commitment was made some 15 years ago and is a long-term debt of the city. Unless revenues fall short of 2012 totals and historical expense reporting is grossly understated, there should be no city subsidy required beyond the long-term debt commitment.

The proposal includes a $75,000 management fee for Tiedemann not a guaranteed “profit.” There is no upside for Tiedemann above this fee; in fact there is a provision in place to protect Baker City.  That provision deducts $10,000 from Tiedemann’s fee if the course operates below a board-approved annual budget.

The proposal provides that all net income or “profit” from the course be reinvested in QRGC through a capital improvement fund that will be administered by the board.

Prior operators of QRGC, whether city employees or contractors, were compensated for their management.

Without funding from the general fund, Baker City would have a far different looking park system, cemetery, pathway system, streets, airport, swimming pool, golf course, ambulances and police vehicles.  All have required general fund dollars.

The reason only one proposal was submitted to Baker City for operating QRGC is the historical approach to managing the course. Tiedemann’s business model will provide full transparency and an opportunity to move toward forming a nonprofit entity similar to Anthony Lakes should Baker City decide at the conclusion of Tiedemann’s three-year contract.  As well as a “continued positive economic impact” for Baker City.

It’s time to try a new approach.

Randy Daugherty

Baker City


Letters to the Editor for Dec. 6, 2013


Don’t use tax dollars to subsidize golf course

 I would like to congratulate the editorial board for Wednesday’s editorial. I agree with you 100 percent that the city shouldn’t use general fund dollars to subsidize the golf course. I cannot visualize any circumstances that would require the use of public tax dollars to subsidize a private business by giving Mr. Tiedemann a guaranteed amount of profit. If our city manager Mr. Kee agrees to the terms Mr. Tiedemann is requesting then I would make a further request of Mr. Kee.

I as a former business owner in Baker City have been approached many times by good citizens to have my wife and myself open another restaurant. This is expensive to do, but if the city adopts the new policy as requested by Mr. Tiedemann, then I want the following:

1. The city to purchase a vacant building downtown for my new restaurant.

2. To fully equip the property with all new equipment (stoves, refrigeration, tables and chairs etc.)

3. Do not charge me any rent.

4. Guarantee me $75,000 income per year. Of course I have no incentive to ever show a profit higher than that, otherwise the city may want me to start paying rent, should I do such a foolish thing.

Now I know this sounds ridiculous, but in all honesty this is what Mr. Tiedemann is asking the city to do for him.

I worked at the golf course for five years under the Seven-Iron ownership. My job was to take money for memberships, equipment and fees for playing by non-members. I can guarantee you there is enough income generated at the golf course for any competent businessman to make a living. If Mr. Tiedemann feels he needs a guarantee by the city, then perhaps he should think of another venture. I don’t want my tax dollars subsidizing a private business.

Bill Ward

Baker City

Golf course proposal is best one for the city

At least when I write a letter to the editor, I have to give my name and address.

If the “editor” had attended any meetings, the “editor” might have an educated idea of where Mr. Tiedemann was trying to steer the golf course.

If Mr. Tiedemann would not have put in a proposal, the city would have had to come up with some way to keep this operation going and bringing people to the area to spend money in our “little city.”

In Mr. Tiedemann’s proposal, he wants to run the golf course and make it make a profit — he is not in this to get rich.

His proposal was to pattern the city golf course after the Anthony Lakes program and within the next three years, make this a nonprofit organization and turn it over to a board of directors to run.

The city really didn’t have many options. They could accept Mr. Tiedemann’s proposal or they could run the golf course themselves. They would still have to purchase equipment, as all the equipment at the golf course belongs to Seven Iron

I was in attendance at both of the meetings in which Mr. Tiedemann outlined his proposal, and of the 7-person board that reviewed the proposal and voted 7 to nothing in favor of accepting the proposal to send to the city council. At the city council meeting, it was moved and seconded and voted on by 6 members of the council and they were all in favor. If you have lived here for any length of time maybe you can remember the last time the city council voted unanimously on anything, I can’t.

The one paragraph that really sticks in my craw is that Mr. Kee should hammer out a contract with Mr. Tiedemann that takes the risk off of the city and puts it on Mr. Tiedemann’s shoulders. I think we should go back and look at who owns the golf course, it is a city entity. 

I believe that Mr. Tiedemann’s proposal was very much in order and I know how much homework he did before making that proposal.

Larry Smith

Baker City


Letters to the Editor for Dec. 4, 2013


Preschool should be voluntary

With reference to Suzan Ellis Jones’ recent letter, I agree that establishing Early Learning Hubs in Baker is undesirable. As one of the few registered Libertarians around, I consider education — as well as healthcare — part of a belief system (religion) and as such protected under the First Amendment from federal intrusion. I consider compulsory education basically wrong. On the other hand, as someone once involved in founding a Montessori preschool when the concept was new in America and who is currently helping to send his grandchildren through preschool, I would like to promote the concept of modern preschool education which is voluntary and under parental direction.

Professional preschool education for children between the ages of 2 and 5 largely developed from the theories of European psychologists, particularly Jean Piaget and Maria Montessori. The general idea is:

1. Preschool children go through stages in development that vary widely in individual cases but follow in sequence, and are best addressed in a mixed age classroom;

2. Education is an active process in which the child is playing and adults are there to help them by providing play materials and options;

3. That there are two kinds of learning going on, social and individual:

• On the social side, language and morality is learned naturally through interaction, rather than by what we may try to instill

• On the individual side, while children cannot be taught abstract math and science directly at first, they are prepared for later learning through practicing motor skills encouraged by special learning materials provided

4. That early childhood is the most critical period to enhance an individual’s cognitive and social development.

What is happening now, for those who are fortunate to be able to afford it, is that these concepts are leading, seamlessly, into grade school and even high school education, usually under the rubric “Montessori.” 

The individual is driving his own education in his own direction after getting an early start. I think it more that anecdotal that the CEO’s of Google and Amazon.com received a Montessori education and didn’t feel the need to get a college degree. I also think that professional preschool facilities are largely lacking in Baker, and perhaps the county commissioners didn’t want to look a $50,000 gift horse in the mouth. 

The important thing is making preschool education based on the principles outlined above a priority in the overall budget. Full-day kindergarten can also be a vital step in that direction. 

Those who want to opt out of such programs for their children should be eligible for reimbursement or vouchers, to keep it entirely voluntary.

R. Mack Augenfeld is a Baker City resident. 

 

Early learning hubs all about feds supplanting parents

A notorious local liberal boasted in a recent letter to the editor that in “just a few minutes” he researched and rebutted the Oregon Republican Party’s stance on early learning by clicking just one link online. I’m not sure I’d brag about that. 

By contrast, the Baker County Republicans drafted and overwhelmingly voted for a resolution to join in the fight against early learning hubs, not on a whim, but after extensive research that included information from our State Attorney General, Rep. Cliff Bentz and other elected officials.

Early learning proponents don’t want parents to realize these hubs are Obamacare-spawned and designed as part of an enormous federal sweep to “bridge the gap between healthcare and education.” These hubs are far from innocuous one-stop-shops to help cut through government red tape, as seems to be the liberal talking point.

Hidden inside the “Affordable” Care Act is funding for these hubs. Obama wants several in every state. Funds are laundered through multiple agencies until their origin is obscured, but as with all federal dollars, these come with nasty strings attached, including the government “targeting all children” and visiting your home to analyze your child’s educational well-being. They include recommended hub placement of all children at infancy, and adherence to teaching methods for which parents and local instructors have little input, much like the big-government disaster that is Common Core. As for the money, the potential $50,000 grant wouldn’t even be managed in Baker County! And, the feds would have control of the thousands of match-funding tax dollars we’d be required to cough up locally.

I could list all the laws and departments that parents should research, but they’re too numerous to fit in this letter. Parents can go to www.BakerCountyRepublicans.com. In the news section, there is a full flow chart showing how everything ties together to make these hubs happen. Bigger government and increased socialism have no place inside our family units. It’s high time parents and our county commissioners not only “balked,” but fought hard, because the local hub issue is far from over.

Kerry McQuisten

Baker City

 


Letters to the Editor for Nov. 27, 2013


Early Learning Hub warnings a scare tactic

In reading Suzan Ellis Jones’ guest opinion in local newspapers last week, I’m reminded of the fairy tale that includes the warning, “The sky is falling. The sky is falling.”  So, what is the impending calamity?  Our children, Jones claims, are about to be ruined by Early Learning Hubs. 

It would be “irresponsible,” writes Jones, “to sell out our babies for a $50,000 grant” that would subject the little children to state interference “from birth to kindergarten.” Somewhere she read — she doesn’t say where — that early involvement has had a negative effect on kiddies’ lives in Russia, China, Germany, Austria, and Cuba. “Talk to anyone who experienced early learning in these countries and they will tell you it changed the family unit.” Yet Jones quotes not one person she’s talked to.

Jones boasts that the Baker County Republican Central Committee, of which she is chairperson, has “researched this issue for months.” 

Well, it took me just a few minutes online to discover that Oregon’s Compulsory School Attendance law does not require school attendance of any child under the age of eight (ORS 339.010). So, even if Baker County had an Early Learning Hub offering free services to children from birth to kindergarten, the state has no authority to require parents to use the services.  Even kindergarten attendance is not mandatory in Oregon.

Jones will say her committee already knows all that, but shouts out another “the sky is falling” warning. Obama wants to make ELH’s “mandatory.” Yet she cites not one authority for that statement.

Nor does Jones tell the reader anything about the services ELH’s would provide. Nevertheless, she admonishes that ELH’s would “interfere with the bonding of the child with their (sic) family,” which would screw up “family custom and culture.” That scare tactic was used years ago by opponents of kindergartens. Well, we all know how empty that “sky is falling” warning was. In School District 5J, which offers non-compulsory kindergarten, there is almost 100 percent voluntary participation on the part of families with kindergarten-age children.

Gary Dielman

Baker City

A president’s death, and an uncertain future

Thank you for the commemorative issue on Nov. 22, the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination. Surprisingly, I read very little of it, since I was a college sophomore at the time, and don’t recall that 1963 date so much as an event but rather as part of an era.

My generation was the one where grade and middle schoolers were exposed to the “duck and cover” ads as a means of surviving a nuclear attack. We witnessed, via TV, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev banging his shoe on the table at the UN and announcing that “We will bury you!” We saw the much touted American Vanguard missile, set to launch the first artificial satellite into orbit topple over on its launch pad, and a little later watched the Soviet Sputnik orbit high above our heads.

Then Kennedy defeated Nixon, everything seemed brighter and the world loved our First Lady.

The Bay of Pigs. The Cuban Missile Crisis. Strange news and unfamiliar names showing up on newspaper front pages.  Names like Madame Nhu, Viet Cong, Hanoi, Saigon.

We young college men, all of draft age, grew increasingly nervous. Loveless marriages were entered to avoid the draft.  The draft was universal back then and unless we were missing an arm or a leg and could prove it to the draft board,  or get a deferment, we would soon be marching, saluting and...dying.

Against this backdrop came Nov. 22, 1963. The first rumor I heard was that Bobby and Jackie Kennedy had been shot, but the truth finally emerged.  The president was dead.

Classrooms sat empty that afternoon and the next day’s finals cancelled.  It was standing room only in places with a television as we sorted through the seemingly unending reports from Cronkite, Rather, Huntley and Brinkley, and many more. We watched the funeral parade, witnessed the quiet dignity of Mrs. Kennedy, smiled at John-John’s salute to his father, as we fought back our tears.

We had a new president now, and we braced ourselves for a future we had not before envisioned.

John Sublett

Baker City


Letters to the Editor for Nov. 20, 2013


Early Learning Hubs: County, newspaper downplay threat 

The Baker City Herald’s editorial board has made the same mistake as Commissioner Fred Warner in thinking Early Learning Hubs (ELH) are a repackaged program with a new name and more money. They are not. These hubs do not replace existing services, nor do they replace the funds needed to run existing services. ELHs are a brand new layer of educational bureaucracy.

But then, the distribution of false information is how these hubs were sold to Commissioners Warner, Kerns and Stiff last March.

To set the record straight and correct Friday’s misguided opinion piece:


Letters to the Editor for Nov. 15, 2013


Don’t want health clinic in a grocery store

Upon reading the article in Monday’s paper that St. Alphonsus is opening an Express Care clinic within an Albertson’s supermarket, I feel this is the most ridiculous action that the store could have taken. They are inviting people that are sick with contagious conditions to enter the supermarket through the main entrance, and make their way through customers to get to this clinic. If that’s not enough, in the clinic if the patient has a wait to see the physician they are going to issue them a pager to do shopping while waiting.

Now I’m not naive enough to believe that there aren’t ill people in the grocery stores every day, but to invite them in to be treated for such conditions as the flu, strep throat, sore throat, lice, cold sores and many other contagious conditions. And then encourage them to shop while waiting to be examined, handling groceries, produce, meat, baked goods and other consumables that the public is expected to purchase, take home and feed to their families, is wrong.

In this day of MRSA and other such highly contagious conditions that are hard to treat, it’s bad enough having accidental exposure at medical facilities without having intentional exposure at the grocery store. I see this as nothing more than St. Alphonsus attempting to expose the whole community to contagious conditions as a means of increasing its revenues.

Therefore my family and I will no longer shop at Albertsons, intentionally exposing ourselves to every communicable disease that comes along through the purchase of intentionally contaminated grocery items.

This would have been a better situation if the store had installed an isolated entrance and exit to this clinic thus minimizing the number of contagious patients entering the grocery area and handling groceries.

Bruce Morrison

Baker City

Worried about putting more sick people in enclosed space

While I laud the reason for a clinic in Albertson’s I don’t like the practicality of it. I have a strong background in public health and the thought of pulling more folks into the store who are there only because of illness is a dangerous and potentially hazardous practice. I realize we meet up with ill folks all over the city and in any travels we may take, but this will be a purposeful increase in an enclosed space AND they will be given coupons so they may shop in “my space” while they wait to be seen.

Yes we meet them in clinics too but we are usually in a clinic because we too are ill. That may be great for Albertson’s but not so great for my health. I will shop at Safeway. 

Iva Mace

Baker City


Letters to the Editor for Nov. 13, 2013


Big government keeps feeding the fat cats

In one of his Texas stories, Elmer Kelton distinguishes between barn cats and house cats. Barn cats live in the barn where they are expected to keep the mouse population down. They are never fed, stay out in the barn, and pretty much have to fend for themselves. House cats, on the other hand, live pampered lives in the warm house with all of their needs supplied.

He then points out that for most of American History, its people pretty well looked out for themselves. They took care of their own needs and took pride in never accepting charity or handouts. Even the free land of the Homestead Act was purchased with several gallons of sweat.

People nowadays have no problem with accepting government handouts, only now they’re called entitlements. One of President Obama’s campaign materials last fall was how a woman named Julia had all of her needs met at each stage of her life by one government program or another.

But Julia is just an ordinary-sized house tabby; there are some tiger-sized felines out there. Wall Street bankers know that their institutions are “too big to fail,” so no matter how badly they screw up, the taxpayers will bail them out. Al Gore and his renewable energy buddies are real gravy lickers. They receive huge subsidies from all levels of government, and enjoy mandates which require that their product is purchased no matter how inefficiently it is produced. Farm subsidies were enacted to help the small farmer survive the ups and downs of that way of life, but the great majority of farm subsidies go to “small farmers” like the Archer Daniels Midland Company and TV mogul Ted Turner.

These corporate fat cats much prefer Big Government to a smaller one, as big governments have lots and lots of goodies to pass out. And in our current setup, the bulk of those goodies go to those with good political connections. If we had a small government, as we did for most of our history, those house cats might actually have to work for a living. 

Pete Sundin

Baker City

Blood drive is truly a community effort

In September Baker County held the Red Cross Blood Drive, which was a huge success. We exceeded our goal on both days.

I feel compelled to send a big thank you not only to the donors, but to the businesses and volunteers that made it such a success. As strange as it may seem, giving blood has become a social event. Gathering friends meet and visit and, due to the generosity of these businesses and organizations, can have a snack together.

Domino’s Pizza, Pizza Hut and Subway donate food. The Haines Mutual Improvement Club and the Haines Methodist Church Ladies bring cookies, and the Cattlewomen donate beef broth. But that’s not all. The Calvary Baptist Church and Nazarene Church donate their facilities for the drive. Baker Sanitary Service picks up the trash and about 20 local people donate their time to help with registration and serving the food. And thanks to the Baker City Herald and The Record-Courier our advertising is free.

As you can see, the blood drive truly is a community effort for a very good cause. My heartfelt thanks to all who helped.

And now we have another blood driving coming on Nov. 18 and 19 at the Calvary Baptist Church at Third and Broadway. I assure you that you will have a good time and some good snacks if you come. And you will feel good about donating.

Call me for an appointment at 541-523-4650.

Colleen Brooks

Blood Chairman

Baker City


Letters to the Editor for Nov. 13, 2013


Big government keeps feeding the fat cats

In one of his Texas stories, Elmer Kelton distinguishes between barn cats and house cats. Barn cats live in the barn where they are expected to keep the mouse population down. They are never fed, stay out in the barn, and pretty much have to fend for themselves. House cats, on the other hand, live pampered lives in the warm house with all of their needs supplied.

He then points out that for most of American History, its people pretty well looked out for themselves. They took care of their own needs and took pride in never accepting charity or handouts. Even the free land of the Homestead Act was purchased with several gallons of sweat.

People nowadays have no problem with accepting government handouts, only now they’re called entitlements. One of President Obama’s campaign materials last fall was how a woman named Julia had all of her needs met at each stage of her life by one government program or another.

But Julia is just an ordinary-sized house tabby; there are some tiger-sized felines out there. Wall Street bankers know that their institutions are “too big to fail,” so no matter how badly they screw up, the taxpayers will bail them out. Al Gore and his renewable energy buddies are real gravy lickers. They receive huge subsidies from all levels of government, and enjoy mandates which require that their product is purchased no matter how inefficiently it is produced. Farm subsidies were enacted to help the small farmer survive the ups and downs of that way of life, but the great majority of farm subsidies go to “small farmers” like the Archer Daniels Midland Company and TV mogul Ted Turner.

These corporate fat cats much prefer Big Government to a smaller one, as big governments have lots and lots of goodies to pass out. And in our current setup, the bulk of those goodies go to those with good political connections. If we had a small government, as we did for most of our history, those house cats might actually have to work for a living. 

Pete Sundin

Baker City

Blood drive is truly a community effort

In September Baker County held the Red Cross Blood Drive, which was a huge success. We exceeded our goal on both days.

I feel compelled to send a big thank you not only to the donors, but to the businesses and volunteers that made it such a success. As strange as it may seem, giving blood has become a social event. Gathering friends meet and visit and, due to the generosity of these businesses and organizations, can have a snack together.

Domino’s Pizza, Pizza Hut and Subway donate food. The Haines Mutual Improvement Club and the Haines Methodist Church Ladies bring cookies, and the Cattlewomen donate beef broth. But that’s not all. The Calvary Baptist Church and Nazarene Church donate their facilities for the drive. Baker Sanitary Service picks up the trash and about 20 local people donate their time to help with registration and serving the food. And thanks to the Baker City Herald and The Record-Courier our advertising is free.

As you can see, the blood drive truly is a community effort for a very good cause. My heartfelt thanks to all who helped.

And now we have another blood driving coming on Nov. 18 and 19 at the Calvary Baptist Church at Third and Broadway. I assure you that you will have a good time and some good snacks if you come. And you will feel good about donating.

Call me for an appointment at 541-523-4650.

Colleen Brooks

Blood Chairman

Baker City


Letters to the Editor for Nov. 11, 2013


Resort Street is a work of art

I’m writing regarding Resort Street. It is absolutely a work of art, and done well, too. It won’t need work done over again for a very long time.

I can honestly say I never complained when we had to drive around the park to get to the Dollar Tree or to go through the Baker Garage’s lot to get to my pharmacy.

I did, however, get a bit impatient when the drive-through window at US Bank was closed for so long. I did miss that.

Anyway, kudos to the whole crew for a job well done!

Mary Carroll

Baker City

Another view of Historic Baker City

Martin Financial Services is not in favor of the HBC business tax.

We opened our business on First Street in 1994 and have been paying for economic development via HBC ever since — even though Baker has a paid economic developer working at City Hall. We have yet to see any benefit from HBC’s effort.

It would have been nice to have been at least visited by one of the many directors in the last almost 20 years to discuss the strategies to promote a business such as ours. It would also be interesting to see any documented economic benefit over the past 20 years that any business has received — if such data exists.

It appears that HBC’s efforts are directed to promote retail and restaurant businesses; they are not directed to promote businesses that do not have a tangible product to offer like ours and others who are in the designated HBC area.

Then there are HBC regulations with which a business owner must comply. Regulation is cited as one of the top two challenges (the other one is taxes) that businesses must contend with to be successful. These regulations prohibit an owner from promoting his business as he sees fit — colors, signage and etc. are subject to HBC’s regulations.

Any business owner should have the freedom to establish and promote his business to his potential customers however he chooses. Promotional activities of individual business owners should not have to be filtered through someone else’s vision. A vibrant economy is a diverse one. HBC’s regulations are an unnecessary burden.

If HBC is to continue it should be reorganized as the “Baker City Downtown Retail and Restaurant Association.” These are the businesses that are most likely to receive economic benefit from the promotions that HBC does.

However, any business or citizen or anyone who supports HBC’s vision for Downtown could voluntarily contribute to its efforts. Voluntary contributions to HBC would affirm or not affirm the effectiveness/popularity of its efforts and promotions with the business community and the citizens of Baker City.

Carol Martin

Baker City

Work of ‘good Samaritans’ appreciated

Don’t underestimate  the goodness of today’s youth. 

 Friday,  Nov. 8,  I  began raking leaves in my front yard,  when all of a sudden a pickup full of high school students  “descended” with rakes over their shoulder, and proceeded to clear and bag all the leaves. I offered to pay them, but they refused, saying they were doing this as a Community Service.   What  a nice gesture!  

THANK YOU to the crew that accomplished the leaf removal task, in  short order. The good Samaritans moved on down the street to  help someone else.  

 As everyone knows, Second Street is not shy of leaves at this time of year.

Phyllis Badgley

Baker City


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